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PhD in Forensic Psychology - Criminal Justice

Those seeking to strengthen their understanding of the interaction between forensic psychology and criminal justice practices could reach this goal in Walden University's PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Criminal Justice program. Read more about this doctoral degree program here.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Philosophy in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Criminal Justice

School Offering Program:

Walden University

Degree Level:

Doctoral

Program Prerequisites:

Walden University's PhD in Forensic Psychology program has two tracks with different enrollment requirements. Prospective Track I students must have a bachelor's degree to enroll in this program, while those in Track II must hold a master's degree. Previous coursework in psychology, forensics, or criminal justice would be helpful. All applicants to Walden University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Students who aspire to upper-level careers in criminal investigation, forensics consulting, police psychology, or criminology could benefit from the studies offered in Walden University's online PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Criminal Justice program. Students are given the liberty to take any criminal justice doctorate courses to satisfy the requirements of this specialization. Track I students take core courses that address theories and models in psychology and criminal behavior, criminal investigation processes, forensic psychology research methodologies, and the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behaviors. The Track II core curriculum offers an extensive overview of forensic psychology, addressing theories, issues, and challenges in the field in addition to police psychology, profiling, and psychological practices in corrections and the court system. Other requirements for both Track I and Track II students include research classes and completion of a dissertation.

Learning Format:

Online

Program Length:

103 credits for Track I; 73 credits for Track II.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Walden University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a PhD in Forensic Psychology with a specialization in Criminal Justice:

The total credits needed to earn this doctorate differ between the two tracks of study. In Track I, students take 45 credits in core coursework, 15 credits in the specialization area, 20 credits in research-based courses, a 3-credit foundation class, and 20 credits in the dissertation process. The Track II curriculum is similar, except students only take 25 credits in core classes and 10 credits in research courses. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Walden University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Track I (for students entering with a BS degree)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (45 credits)

  • Understanding Forensic Psychology Research
  • Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Consulting for Organizational Change
  • Themes and Theories of Psychology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Teaching of Psychology

Research Courses (20 credits)

  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Specialization Courses: Criminal Justice (15 credits)

  • Students choose three doctoral-level courses from any Criminal Justice specialization

Doctoral Dissertation (20 credits; 5 credits per term, minimum of 4 terms)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertation

Track II (for students entering with a MS degree)

Foundation Course (3 credits)

  • Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Core Courses (25 credits)

  • Intersection of Crime, Psychology, and the Law
  • Understanding Violence, Risk, and Threat Assessment
  • Advanced Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • Research Foundations
  • Legal Issues and Social Change in Forensic Psychology

Research Courses (10 credits)

  • Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
  • Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Specialization Courses: Criminal Justice (15 credits)

  • Students choose three doctoral-level courses from any Criminal Justice specialization

Doctoral Dissertation (20 credits; 5 credits per term, minimum of 4 terms)

  • Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertation

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Once they have been earned their PhD in Forensic Psychology - Criminal Justice from Walden University, graduates could have built the investigative and analytical skills needed to pursue advanced careers in law enforcement agencies or forensics labs. Other career options could be found in courts, government agencies such as the DEA, or in academics at the collegiate level.

Possible career titles that graduates might explore include:

  • Forensic psychologist
  • Forensic consultant
  • Professor of criminology
  • Computer forensics investigator

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